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COMMAND DECISIONS

Edited with Introductory Essay by

Kent Roberts Greenfield

The Authors

Martin Blumenson                        Maurice Matloff

Robert W. Coakley                       Ralph s. Mavrogordato

Stetson Conn                            Leo J. Meyer

Byron Fairchild                         John Miller, jr.

Richard M. Leighton                     Louis Morton

Charles V. P. von Luttichau             Forrest C. Pogue

Charles B. MacDonald                    Roland G. Ruppenthal

Sidney T. Mathews                       Robert Ross Smith

                      Earl F. Ziemke

 



OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF MILITARY HISTORY

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

WASHINGTON, D.C., 1960

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Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 59-60007

The material in Decisions 1, 2, 4-7, 9-14, and 16-23 appeared in the Harcourt, Brace edition of Command Decisions, © 1959 by Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc.

All rights in this book are reserved. Reproduction of this book may be made from plates obtained from the Public Printer pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 58. Requests for authorizaiton to reproduce this book in whole or in part should be addressed to the Chief of Military History, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington 25, D.C.

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Contents

Number                                                            Page

PREFACE

INTRODUCTORY ESSAY by Kent Roberts Greenfield.....................   1



1. GERMANY FIRST: THE BASIC CONCEPT OF ALLIED STRATEGY IN WORLD WAR II 

   by Louis Morton................................................  11

   The Color Plans, l919-1938.....................................  12

   Strategic Adjustment, 1938-1940................................  20

   The Critical Summer of 1940....................................  27

   Shift to the Atlantic, September 1940-January 1941.............  33

   The Decision Is Made...........................................  41



2. THE GERMAN DECISION TO INVADE NORWAY AND DENMARK 

   by Earl F. Ziemke..............................................  49

   German Interest in Norway......................................  50

   The First Planning Phase ......................................  56

   The Final Planning Phase.......................................  60

   The Decision in Retrospect.....................................  70



3. DECISION TO LAND UNITED STATES FORCES IN ICELAND, 1941 

   by Byron Fairchild.............................................  73

   The Shifting Focus of American Interest........................  75

   The President's Decision and the War Department's Response.....  80

   Problems, Remote and Immediate.................................  82

   INDIGO Planning, First Phase...................................  87

   A New Decision: Reinforcement, Not Relief......................  94

   A Final Glance at the INDIGO Planning..........................  96



4. JAPAN'S DECISION FOR WAR by Louis Morton.......................  99

   The Journey Begins............................................. 100

   The Road to War................................................ 103

   The Fatal Turn................................................. 112

   The End of the Road............................................ 122



5. THE DECISION TO EVACUATE THE JAPANESE FROM THE PACIFIC COAST 

   by Stetson Conn................................................ 125



6. THE DECISION TO WITHDRAW TO BATAAN by Louis Morton............. 151

   War Plan ORANGE................................................ 152

   MacArthur's Plan............................................... 154

   "WPO-3 Is in Effect"........................................... 158

   Effects of the Decision........................................ 165



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7. THE DECISION TO INVADE NORTH AFRICA (TORCH) by Leo J. Meyer.... 173

   Plans for Cross-Channel Operations Get the Green Light ........ 176

   The President Breaks the Deadlock.............................. 186

   The Issue of Inside Versus Outside Landings.................... 188

   The Transatlantic Essay Contest................................ 189



8. U.S. MERCHANT SHIPPING AND THE BRITISH IMPORT CRISIS

   by Richard M. Leighton......................................... 199

   Anglo-American Shipping Collaboration in 1942.................. 200

   Casablanca and the Six-Million-Ton Misunderstanding............ 206

   The Shipping Crisis of March 1943.............................. 210

   The President Disposes......................................... 218



9. THE PERSIAN CORRIDOR AS A ROUTE FOR AID TO THE USSR

   by Robert W. Coakley........................................... 225

   The Soviet Protocols and the Routes of Delivery................ 227

   Early Failure to Develop the Persian Gulf...................... 229

   The Northern Route and the Second Protocol..................... 232

   The Problem in Iran............................................ 234

   The July Crisis................................................ 237

   The Decision on American Responsibility........................ 241

   The Military Plan.............................................. 245

   The CCS Decision............................................... 248

   The Results of the Decision.................................... 251



10. OVERLORD VERSUS THE MEDITERRANEAN AT THE CAIRO-TEHRAN CONFERENCES

    by Richard M. Leighton........................................ 255

    Tools of Amphibious War....................................... 256

    Alarums and Excursions........................................ 261

    First Cairo: The Options...................................... 264

    Tehran: Enter ANVIL, Compromise on OVERLORD................... 271

    Second Cairo: Scratch BUCCANEER............................... 278



11. MACARTHUR AND THE ADMIRALTIES by John Miller, jr.............. 287

    The Background: Rabaul and the Central Pacific................ 287

    Decision To Expand Into the Bismarck Archipelago.............. 291

    Japanese Decisions............................................ 295

    Decision To Send a Reconnaissance Force to the Admiralties.... 295

    The Decision to Remain........................................ 299



12. HITLER'S DECISION ON THE DEFENSE OF ITALY

    by Ralph S. Mavrogordato...................................... 303



13. GENERAL LUCAS AT ANZIO by Martin Blumenson.................... 323



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Number                                                            Page



14. GENERAL CLARK'S DECISION TO DRIVE ON ROME

    by Sidney T. Mathews.......................................... 351



15. THE 90-DIVISION GAMBLE by Maurice Matloff..................... 365



16. THE ANVIL DECISION: CROSSROADS OF STRATEGY

    by Maurice Matloff............................................ 383



17. GENERAL BRADLEY'S DECISION AT ARGENTAN (13 AUGUST 1944)

    by Martin Blumenson........................................... 401



18. LOGISTICS AND THE BROAD-FRONT STRATEGY by

    Roland G. Ruppenthal.......................................... 419



19. THE DECISION TO LAUNCH OPERATION MARKET-GARDEN

    by Charles B. MacDonald....................................... 429



20. THE GERMAN COUNTEROFFENSIVE IN THE ARDENNES

    by Charles V. P. von Luttichau................................ 443

    The Background................................................ 444

    Strategic and Tactical Considerations

      Influencing the Decision.................................... 448

    The Consequences of the Ardennes Decision..................... 458



21. LUZON VERSUS FORMOSA by Robert Ross Smith..................... 461

    The Strategic Background...................................... 461

    The Debate Over Luzon......................................... 466



22. THE DECISION TO HALT AT THE ELBE by Forrest C. Pogue ......... 479

    The Situation in the Spring of 1945........................... 480

    Berlin........................................................ 482

    A Line of Demarcation......................................... 488

    Prague........................................................ 489

    Conclusion.................................................... 492



23. THE DECISION TO USE THE ATOMIC BOMB by Louis Morton........... 493

    The Interim Committee......................................... 494

    Military Considerations....................................... 500

    The Decision.................................................. 506

    The Japanese Surrender........................................ 514



CHRONOLOGY ....................................................... 519



CODE NAMES........................................................ 529



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MAPS



Number                                                           Page

1. The Landings in Norway, 9 April 1940..........................  51

2. The Occupation of Denmark, 9-10 April 1940....................  65

3. Japanese Plan and Disposition of the Armies, November 1941     107

4. Luzon......................................................... 153

5. Corregidor.................................................... 159

6. Persian Corridor Supply Routes................................ 226

7. The Mediterranean, 1943....................................... 257

8. Allied Advance Toward the Bismarck Sea, as of 29 February..... 292

9. The Arnhem Operation, 17-26 September 1944.................... 431

10. Battle of the Ardennes, 16-26 December 1944.................. 456



Maps I-X Are in Inverse Order Inside Back Cover

   I. The World Map (National Geographic Society Map)

  II. Lines of Communication in French North Africa

 III. American Transoceanic Supply, 1942-1943

  IV. Allied Strategy in Italy, January 1944

   V. The Anzio Beachhead, 31 January 1944

  VI. Allied Situation in Italy, May 1944

 VII. Breakout and Advance to the Seine, 25 July-25 August 1944

VIII. Pursuit to the German Border, 26 August-15 September 1944

  IX. Pacific Ocean Areas, 1 August 1942

   X. Drive to the Elbe, 4 April-7 May 1945